N.B.: The detail displayed about each honorary degree recipient varies, as
the database was compiled from a variety of sources. However, more information may
be available at the University Archives.
Convocation date: May 14, 1954
Discipline / contribution: jurisprudence ; legal education; public service
Citation / biographical information:
Eminent Chancellor, I present to you George Frederick Curtis, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Laws, Bachelor of Civil Law, Doctor of Laws, Dean and Professor of Law at the University of British Columbia.Degree received: Doctor of Laws
Dean Curtis began his career in this province. After graduation from Moose Jaw Collegiate he entered the College of Law in this university and was graduated with the bachelor of laws degree in 1927, with great distinction, and was awarded the Governor-General's Gold Medal on graduation. He entered Oxford as a Rhodes scholar from this province in 1928. At Oxford he was granted the Bachelor of Arts degree in jurisprudence in 1930 and the Bachelor of Civil Laws degree in 1931, both degrees having been awarded with first class honors.
Dean Curtis was called to the bar of Saskatchewan in 1931 and spent three years in the practice of law and in the public service of the province. In 1934 he was appointed to the faculty of law at Dalhousie University, a position which he held until 1945. In 1945 he was appointed the first dean of the new faculty of law at the University of British Columbia. In less than a decade under his guidance the school of law of the University of British Columbia has become the equal of the best among the law schools of Canada.
In addition to his eminence as a scholar , and a teacher, he has throughout his career discharged numerous positions of responsibility. Beginning with the presidency of the Students' Representative Council in 1926-27 in which capacity he was largely responsible for the plan for financing Rutherford rink, he has been a member of many committees and commissions of high public significance. In recent years he has done advisory legal work of great importantce for the Government of Canada.
Dean Curtis holds a position of prominence among a group of younger lawyers in Canada to whom we owe much. He has employed his great gifts as a scholar with his interest in human beings to the end that democracy may be preserved under a progressive rule of law.
Eminent Chancellor, on behalf of the Council and Senate, I ask that you confer on him the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.
Degree presented by: F.C. Cronkite, Dean of Law
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